February 28, 2012 Subject:
Good attempt for its time
Pedagogical methods change with the times. As this early 1960's film depicted, the methods shown probably worked well for most of the students in the IGC (Intellectually Gifted Classes) classes of that generation. It must be realized, though, that many of those students accepted into this program were usually self motivated. The New York City School System was still one of the top school systems in America then.
February 28, 2012 Subject:
Yes "ERD" It Was
As I discussed in my blog on Part I, this was a good program for gifted children; nothing more than that, and clearly without bias toward race or gender. The makeup of this class seems to have no socioeconomic contstraints. That's the way it should be. I know from my own experience -many many decades ago. Believe me...colored kids can be very very smart! don't believe what you see on TV, in the comic books, or in the movies.
Interestingly, not a peep about free breakfast, free lunch, or a free dinner - or eatin' at all! What on earth were they thinking? This was obviously in the day before schools became a government subsidized "Bob Evans" restaurant with blackboards!
Reviewer:Wilford B. Wolf
February 6, 2006 Subject:
Early 1960s film touting New York's gifted student program for elementary schools. Many reviewers feel that the students are giving scripted answers, but I think it's more a different style of presenting information than is the norm in more comtemporary schools. This film is very New York in tone, and the education style is more "stand and deliver." Notice how all the kids, when in class discussions, get up from their seat and stand when they deliver the response.
What worries more is the dubious pedagogy on display in this film. The principal at the begining says that students are selected for displaying greater vocabulary and creativity, yet the type of questions that are asked by the teachers are mostly simply spitting back facts (again, leading to the impression their answers are scripted). Sure, the kids are learning geometry (big deal), Spanish and Shakespeare, but any notion of engaging higher-order reasoning is painfully scant. The Breakfast Club (not starring Molly Ringwald) is a weird exercise that tries to show reasoning, but winds up failing. The discussion about the merits of robot teachers is quaint, and yet ironic, given the almost automaton nature of some of the teachers.
I will say that I'm glad see at least a few African-American students in the classrooms in the time period. Also note that the foreign languages offered included Italian and Hebrew, which reflected two major populations of the time.
September 11, 2003 Subject:
All about those gifted students who we all picked on at school. You know the ones.
Nice looking film with overachieving gifted students, you know, the ones you were always jealous of? spurting out suspiciously scripted-sounding answers to their extremely peppy teacher's questions. I like how one of the teachers wears a furry hat to class while demonstrating how an engine works. THAT'S surreal. Another hilight is the assembly where the students ask experts of many different fields questions. Look for the girl with the EXTREMELY unkempt hair and the army major who looks to be falling asleep. A curious film.